Interview Questions

Sample Interview Questions

Although committees will develop their own interview questions, sample questions are provided to stimulate discussion. You may want to adopt or modify a few of these questions as an aid in obtaining relevant information for the designated job. Questions asked of each applicant must be job related and relevant to the expectations of the position. The same questions must be presented to each interviewee.

Work History

Opening question: Tell us about the positions you have held, starting with the most recent.  What were your responsibilities, what did you learn from these experiences, what did you like or dislike about the positions, and what do you feel you accomplished in each position?


1. Can you give me examples of your ability to work effectively with a variety of students?

2. What are some of the things that you have done in your teaching career particularly well or in which you have achieved the greatest success?

3. Describe a successful experience that you have had in the classroom.

4. Starting with your last position, tell us about any of your student-related achievements that were recognized by your superiors, co­workers, students, or others.

5. What has been your greatest frustration or disappointment in teaching or in your present position and why do you feel this way?

6. What do you particularly like about teaching?

7. What are some of the things about which you and your previous supervisor disagreed and how did you handle the situations?

8. What kinds of individuals do you find it most difficult to work with? Why?

9. Describe a successful experience in dealing with students and what you learned from it.

10. Describe how you use technology in teaching.

11. Describe how your students use technology in your courses. (Follow-up: What are the technology skills that you expect your students to have?)

Academic History

Opening question: Tell us about your educational experiences. What attracted you to this discipline and what do you hope to contribute to the field?


1. What subjects do you enjoy teaching the most? The least? Why?

2. In your academic career, what subjects did you do best in? Why?

3. In what subjects were you challenged? Why?

4. Describe the highlights of your academic and teaching careers.

5. Which of your past positions did you find most challenging? Why?

6. What skills, abilities, knowledge and experi­ence do you bring to the teaching field?


We’ve talked about your work experiences, but now we’d like to talk about you – your strengths and weaknesses.  What do you feel might be some of the good qualities or traits that make you the right person for this position?


1. How would you describe yourself as an instructor? How would you describe your teaching style?

2. What motivates you? How would you motivate students?

3. Can you describe an obstacle you have had to overcome? How did you handle it?

4. What do you think are the most important charac­teristics and abilities a person must possess to become a successful faculty member?

5. What would you consider to be your greatest teaching achievement? Why?

Goals and Ambitions


1. What is your long-term career objective and how do you plan to achieve that objective?

2. How does this position fit into your short- or long-term career goals?

3. What do you feel you will contribute to Austin Community College?

4. Why do you want to teach in a community college?

Do’s and Don’ts of Interview Questions


You may ask…

Questions and Statements to stay away from…


Are you 18 years of age or older?

How old are you?
When did you graduate from high school?
How do you feel about working for a person younger than you?
You must be getting close to retirement age…


Do you have responsibilities other than work that will prevent you from performing specific job requirements such as traveling?
What hours and days can you work?
Have you ever worked under a different name?

Do you have plans for having children? Childcare is so hard to get. Do you have any baby-sitting problems?
What is your maiden name?
How would you feel working for a man/woman?
Do you think your woman’s intuition would come in handy on this job?
Tell me…how did a man come to be interested in this kind of work?


Are you able to perform the duties of the job with or without accommodation? If the applicant indicates that she/he can perform the tasks with an accommodation, you may ask:
• What accommodation would you need in order to perform the tasks?
• Now that you have heard the hours, leave policies, and other requirements of this position, do you feel you will be able to meet these requirements?
• How many days were you absent from work last year?
An employer may make medical inquiries or require a medical examination of all candidates at the time a conditional offer is made.

Do you have any disabilities?
Are you in good health?
Do you have any physical defects that prevent you from performing certain kinds of work?
How severe is your disability?
What is the prognosis for your condition? Will you require a special leave because of your disability or its treatment?
Please list any conditions or diseases you were treated for in the last 3 years. How many days were you absent last year because of illness?
Have you ever been treated by a psychiatrist or counselor?
You mentioned your daughter has multiple sclerosis. Will that have an affect on your attendance?
Do you have any family members or relatives who are disabled?



There aren’t very many members of minorities in our department. Will that be a problem for you?
You look like you have an interesting family history. How would you define your race?

Sexual Orientation

After employing the individual: Whom can we notify in case of an emergency?

What is the name of a relative to be notified in case of an emergency? Are you married? This is a real family-oriented department. Is that okay with you?

National Origin

Are you legally eligible to work in the United States?
After making a conditional offer, an employer may inform the applicant that he/she will have to produce documents for work eligibility.
Which languages do you speak fluently? (If it is a requirement for the job.)

Where were you born?
Of what country are you a citizen?
Yablonski, what kind of name is that?
I see you speak Spanish. Did you learn that in your native country or in school?


Will you be available to work the required schedule?

What church do you attend? Will you need to take time off from work to observe (name of particular religious holiday)?


Do you have a high school diploma or equivalent?
Do you have a university degree?

When did you graduate from high school or college?



Do you own your own home?
How long have you lived at your present address?
Have your wages ever been garnished?


What type of education, training, and experience did you receive in the military?

What type of discharge did you receive?


Inquiry into membership in organizations if job related

Are you a union member? List all clubs, societies, and lodges of which you are a member.

Workers’ Compensation


Have you ever filed for Workers’ Compensation?
Have you had any prior work injuries?


It is best to ask only about convictions for crimes related to the job.

Have you ever been arrested?

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